Week 2 – First Grade

  • Little Brother (Fiction, Level B) by Joy Cowley
  • The Astronaut (Fiction, Level B) by John Lockyer
  • Three Little Ducks (Fiction, Level B) by June Melser and Joy Cowley
  • What’s Alive (Non-fiction, Level B) by Lisa Trumbauer
  • Needs and Wants (Non-fiction, Level B) by Margie Burton

Last weekend my first grader informed me that he wants to be a “spaceman” when he grows up because “they get to fly into outerspace and do science!” So, when I pulled out The Astronaut from this week’s kit, his face lit up. How fun that my little guy gets to read about things that he already finds interesting! Then, to make it even better he was able to correct his own Mama when she called the astronaut in the book a “he,” because in fact, the astronaut in this book is a lady. Talk about building confidence in a new reader! He was so very proud of himself for being able to read the words in a real astronaut book, and for noticing something that his Mama overlooked.

spideyThe activities I want to highlight this week are the orange and blue cards that act as tools to help parents teach Step 3: Vocabulary Development. The orange cards contain words that the first grader should already recognize as sight words, and the blue cards contain new words that may need more explanation and time to learn. Last year we used flashcards every day to help Malachi learn his sight words, and he cried about having to do them because he didn’t think he could do it good enough and he hated to get even one wrong. I even gave him a bowling party to celebrate when he got them all correct, but this still did not give him the confidence he needed to be successful in learning them. Over the summer we did not use the cards, but we did do some sight words informally on road signs, books, newspapers, billboards, etc. and he began to build some confidence. However, when we started back to school last week I was so dreading bringing out the flashcards because I could predict his reaction. Now, thanks to the progress he’s making with these little orange and blue cards I don’t have to bring out the old flashcards at all! This is such a better way for him to learn and build confidence at the same time!

I am so excited that my little guy is learning to read independently, and I believe it’s because of the Read with Sarah model! For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.